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Get Your Virtual Jummah On: Setting it Up

Part 1-

By Tariq El Amin

So you want to go live with your khutba? Before we tell where you need to go, let’s first list what you’ll need:

  • Cellphone or a tablet is preferable since they tend to have higher resolution cameras than most laptops. However, if a computer is all you have, then that will work too.
  • A stable internet connection. Most of us are accustomed to using our wi-fi or streaming over our data plan, but streaming live video can use up lots of data. You want to make sure that your wi-fi signal is uninterrupted. Stay as close as you can to your router if you’re used to spotty connections. If you’re using a tablet, or computer consider connecting directly to your ethernet. 
  • Good lighting and a quiet place: You might be streaming from home, or going into the masjid by yourself, but either way–do a test run and make sure you’re coming through clearly on screen. 
  • Something to hold your streaming device: if you have a tripod and a cradle to hold your phone/tablet, etc. that’s great! If not, no worries. You can get creative by simply using a table and a few books to steady the camera.  

Now let’s get to the platforms available to you. 

  • Facebook (Here’s a 6-minute video tutorial if seeing it is easier than reading it)
    • Go to your page, click on the publish button, then press “Go Live.” You’ll see a prompt to type in a description of your video. After you enter a title for your Livestream (i.e., Jumu’ah Khutba), you’re just about ready to go. Tag community members in your initial post and encourage them to share it to boost your audience. 
  • Zoom Meetings– This is a great platform that is more interactive than Facebook Live. You create and broadcast in a virtual private meeting room. The free plan allows you to host up to 100 people for up to 40 minutes, so this option is ideal for many Khatibs. You can sign up for a free account here
    • One of the advantages in comparison to Facebook is that you’re able to see your audience and maintain a visual connection. 
    • After signing up for an account, just like Facebook, you can use any device to broadcast. The significant difference here is that if you’re using a free account, you don’t have the option to stream on Facebook, which requires having a different level of membership. 
    • Zoom has several tutorials available to users, but here’s one that explains how to set up a meeting and send out invitations. 

Because of the built-in microphones on most mobile devices, tablets, and laptops, which generally work quite well, you do not have to worry about microphones.

Stay tuned for Part 2 on this!